Hong Kong is one of the two Special Administrative Regions (SAR) in China and is East Asia's most extraordinary city. Its unique geographical position, special charming of the combination of the east and west cultures and its identity of tax free port make it a cosmopolitan, a tourism city and so called Shopping Heaven. Famous places include Ocean Park, Tian Tan Buddha and Shanding Plaza.
Hong Kong (in Chinese, Xiang-gang) is situated on the southern coast of Guangdong province. It is made up of four parts of Hong Kong island, Kowloon peninsula, new territories and Lidao Islands. It covers an area of 1062 square kilos and has a population of 6.3 million, one of the highest population densities in the world.
Hong Kong Island was ceded to Britain in 1842 after its defeat in the first Opium War. In 1860, after the second Opium War, the peninsula of Kowloon on the mainland was added to the colony, and in 1898 a large area beyond Kowloon together with the surrounding islands, known as the New Territories, was leased to Great Britain for 99 years. This lease expired on July 1, 1997, and the whole colony has been restored to Chinese sovereignty.
Recommended Scenic Spots
Ocean Park, lying between Aberdeen and Repulse Bay, is the largest leisure paradise in Southeast Asia, and one of the largest marine parks in the world. Covering a total area over 200 acres, the park was built on both sides of the mountain with a Cable Car system linking the lowland and headland sections.
There are over 40 major attractions in this park.
Marine Land - Mysterious Underwater World
Upon entering into this marvelous world, you'll be mesmerized as the exciting mystery of the underwater world unfolding in front of you. Atoll Reef - the most popular attraction of Marine Land providing you a chance to view more than 2,000 fishes of 250 species including a 80 year old and 6 foot long Giant Grouper. Atoll Reef also boasts of the largest number of Napoleon fish to be found in any aquarium in the world.
If you're brave enough, take a walk through Asia's first underwater viewing tunnel at the Shark Aquarium. This is perhaps the only place where you can come face-to-face with more than 70 sharks and rays from over 35 species. Among them, over 11 splendid species are cared for through Ocean Park's very own captive breeding program, including the Black Tip Reef Shark and the rare Pygmy Swell Shark. Remember to keep your young children closer with you, for fear that they would be frightened by those jumbos.
While, You needn't manage to amuse your children, if they are still trembling. You only need to take them to Ocean Theatre, where adorable marine mammals showing off their spectacular tricks may help you. Intelligent dolphins and serious sealions take centrestage here - jumping, diving, somersaulting - displaying superb antics that are sure to thrill your children and keep them glued to their seats.
Of course, you cannot miss the Ocean Park Tower - a magnificent 72 meters tall tower that offers you a chance to enjoy the most spectacular view of the South China Sea.
Headland Rides - Games for Brave Man
If you were especially interested in adventure, various thrilling rides in headland would fully satisfy you. The longest roller coaster in Hong Kong takes you for a hurricane speed super ride flipping through its famous loops, twisting and turning to give you the ride of a lifetime. Besides, Eagle Ride, Crazy Galleon and the Flying Swing where you're swung in chairs as high as 7 meters through a gyrating wave-like motion all offer you a adventurous experience which make you screaming for more. Are you content?
Of course, if you are not intent on trying those thrilling games, you can choose the Ferris Wheel, which is completely fun, and an excellent choice for having a relaxed time along with the whole family.
Lowland Gardens - Marvelous World around Us
Here, the most important one is Hong Kong Jockey Club Giant Panda Habitat. Opening on May 18, 1999 with an area of 2000 square meters (20 ares), this habital provides guests to Ocean Park a rare opportunity of visiting a pair of giant panda, An An and Jia Jia, which a gift bestowed by the Central Government to the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.
An An, a 14-year-old male panda, is known as the "Giant Panda Ambassador" and has visited different places as a gesture of goodwill. Jia Jia is a female panda about 22 years old. She is now a mother of 4 cubs. Now this couple live happily in a habitat that closely resembles the natural living conditions of giant pandas in the wild.
The project provides an excellent opportunity for the public to learn more about this endangered species, the survival problems they are facing and, more importantly, how we can help in preventing the giant pandas from extinction.
Besides, Butterfly House, Goldfish Pagoda, Dinosaur Discovery Trail which bring you back to the pre-historic ages are all worthy of visiting. Full of knowledge, surprise and interest, they made people further acquainted with the nature they depend on.
The park tops the itinerary of many visitors to Hong Kong - especially those with children. Since opened in January 1977, over 55 million people have visited the park and today it is Hong Kong's premier park providing a mix of entertainment, educational and conservational facilities. It is easily for you to spend a happy day here. Since popular attractions are always crowded in holidays, try to avoid the holidays or arrive early in order to enjoy yourself at a relaxed pace.
Repulse Bay, located to the south of Stanley, is the most representative bay in Hong Kong. It was named after a pirate ship used to cruise here in the 19th century. Famous for its long and broad beach, clean water, fresh sand, calm tide and gentle wave, this bay is popular with locals and visitors, especially in summer.
With its lush green, sub-tropical backdrop and breathtaking views over sandy beaches, the area is an ideal place for a romantic dinner under the stars. Several open-air restaurants nearby specialize in the joys of wholesome barbecued food, including the freshest prawns, squid, fish and other seafood. All are cheery hives of activity every night of every week.
Repulse Bay also offers a good range of shopping and entertainment facilities. The ornate Life Guard Club is built in a traditional Chinese style with its ceiling decorated with magnificent swirling dragons. Sea View Tower was built nearby in Chinese ancient color, inside which there are twin ten-meter-high statues of Tin Hau (the Queen of Heaven) and Goddess of Mercy, Avalokitesvara, both protectors of fishermen.
Repulse Bay now became a well-to-do residential area favored by locals.